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Butter-Seared Sole with Snap Peas, Dill + Capers

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Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: A nostalgic white fish dinner that has all the makings of an elegant bistro meal.  

A crisp, flaky filet of fish bathed in butter, to me, is transformative. It’s a method that combines basic pantry staples and, in the case of this recipe, a few pieces of mild white fish to create a dinner that’s refined, subtle and special. It takes me somewhere else when I eat it – sitting on the deck of a bistro, say, with a coordinated outfit and plans to spend the afternoon wandering. It’s a memorable one-skillet dinner with clear, soft flavors and a side of fancy.

To speed up trimming snap peas, line up 4 or 5 in a row and trim the tough end with one decisive chop of a sharp chef’s knife. It adds to the recipe’s charm (and quick prep time).

Butter-Seared Sole with Snap Peas, Dill + Capers

Serves 4

4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
4 (4-ounce) skinless Dover sole fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces snap peas, trimmed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
2 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer or regular lemon juice, to taste

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that’s being published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photos by Caroline Wright

Tags: Caroline Wright, 20 Dollar 20 Minute Meals, weeknight recipes, menu ideas, cooking, seasonal, white fish, snap peas, everyday cooking

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Comments (3)


about 2 years ago Alok Deshpande

Great recipe!


over 2 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

I love Dover sole too (and I mean real Dover sole, not the Pacific fish with the same name--if you're out here go for the Petrale sole). But can you get it cheaply enough to feed 4 for under $20? Granted your portion size is way smaller than the fish lovers in my family, but even in Dover, England, I've found it to be a splurge.


over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

This makes my mouth water! I love Dover sole.